Saturday, 1 April 2006

Nigerian developments

Updated Monday 3 April

Changing Attitude has just published three four press releases, resulting from a recent meeting in Geneva, where Colin Coward met Davis MacIyalla and held extended discussions with him. (The background to this was the ILGA Conference.)

Davis MacIyalla describes his work with Bishop Ugede in the Diocese of Otukpo

Nigerian Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act introduced to House of Representatives

Davis MacIylla reports suspicions of Anglican Church involvement with new bill

In the first of these, it is reported that Davis MacIyalla is known personally to various senior church officials in Nigeria, including Archbishop and Mrs Akinola. The press release asks:

A further challenge to Canon Akintunde Popoola

In the press release issued on 28 December 2005 Canon Akintunde Popoola maintained that he had consulted over 6,000 clergy and none of them knew of Davis MacIyalla. We would now like to ask whether he contacted the people named by Davis in this report, including the Primate of All Nigeria, the Most Revd Peter J Akinola and his wife. Canon Popoola’s denial that Davis was a member of the Anglican Church is all the more remarkable given Davis’s deep involvement in the life of the Church of Nigeria from his earliest years and more recently in the Diocese of Otukpo.

In the third release the personal danger to individuals is discussed. Changing Attitude had also written its own open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury and others, concerning this matter last February.

Update
A fourth release: Nigerian gay representatives meet officer at Nigerian Human Rights Commission. This makes further grim reading.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 1 April 2006 at 10:22pm BST | TrackBack
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Comments

Estimado Canon Tunde (Popoola),

Do you still have "better things to do" than to discuss and report your factless "truths" here at Thinking Anglicans (and beyond) about Davis and our other Anglican LGBT brothers/sisters at the church of Nigera?

Do you lie intentionally Tunde or are you following specific "instructions" or a anti-gay "party line" from your Archbishop and his accomplices?

Why do you generate fear, anger and hate against the LGBT people of Nigeria Tunde?

Are you capable of being honest with yourself and with us?

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Saturday, 1 April 2006 at 11:12pm BST

"Davis has sources close to the centre of Church affairs in Abuja who report that Canon Popoola and Archbishop Akinola initiated the idea of the bill and persuaded the government to take it forward. This is an unconfirmed report, but if true, would show that it is indeed the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) which is behind this premeditated attack on the most basic rights of LGBT Nigerians."

IF TRUE... Canon Tunde Popoola owes us all an explanation. If Davis's allegations are true, then ++Peter Abuja is also in violation of the 1998 Lambeth Resolution and the Windsor Report. Both documents respect the dignity of gay and lesbian members of the Church.

IF TRUE... ++Peter Abjua is nothing but a "bully" and a hypocrite who doesn't deserve the respect of the Christian community, let alone recognition as an Anglican primate.

Posted by: John Henry on Sunday, 2 April 2006 at 3:00am BST

The Truth begins to come out: “He was told that he had to hand over the administration of the school to the diocesan board and there were a series of allegations against him… ...., Davis went on holiday to Port Harcourt.” (600km away) Hmmm.

He is with his sponsors now seeking asylum. 'Afraid of arrest for what? a law not yet in existence or ?? "

Read the Disclaimer again. Everyone is free to heed or disregard it. I still stand by everything it says.

Posted by: Tunde on Sunday, 2 April 2006 at 7:13pm BST

It is difficult to reach any final judgment of the particular pros or cons of the stated case related to Mr. MacIyalla - especially from the other side of the planet.

We are much firmer ground when it comes to weighing the likely effects of the harsh new laws - as well as of viglante activities - in Nigeria itself, upon the LGBTQ citizens. Indeed, the west has as deep a legacy of violence against LGBTQ citizens as anywhere. (Just see the report on police violence against LGBTQ citizens by Amnesty International. http://www.amnestyusa.org/outfront/document.do?id=ENGAMR510432006 The whole idea of basic human rights for such people is only 30-40 years old, recall.

Thus, discredting Mr. MacIyalla of CAN does nothing whatsoever to either, (1) habilitate the church's involvement in these impending heinous violations of basic human rights in Nigeria, or, (2) logically demonstrate the underlying core prejudice being exploited, Namely that if a Nigerian man or woman has a different sexual orientation then we can pretty much predict they innately have other serious defects or ethical limitations built into their personalities.

How indeed can any useful listening process go forward under these circumstances? We need a Truth and Reconciliation sort of commission to hold hearing on these matters in a really safe place, probably elsewhere than Nigeria currently is.

Alas. Lord have mercy

Posted by: drdanfee on Sunday, 2 April 2006 at 8:01pm BST

As before, Canon Popoola reacts by insinuating that Davis MacIyalla isn't telling the truth. The Director of Communications for the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) deals with information provided by other people (myself and Davis MacIyalla) by snide insinuation. In responding on Thinking Anglicans in this way, he provides further evidence of the lack of integrity, authority, and ability to respond effectively in his role. This is not the way Christians behave. Instead of answering questions properly put to him, he attacks Davis, a gay Nigerian Anglican.

I ask Canon Popoola for an answer to a perfectly proper question. Did he contact and consult the senior church leaders named by Sir Davis MacIyalla, including the Primate of All Nigeria (with whom Davis has worshipped) and the Primate's wife (who hosted him in their house)?

Davis is not seeking asylum.

I would like to ask Canon Popoola a further question. Would he like to provide the information which shows how the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) is responding to the commitment made in resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, in the Windsor Report, and at the Primates' meeting attended by Archbishop Peter Akinola, to monitor the work done on human sexuality in the Province of Nigeria, minister pastorally to lesbian and gay people, listen to the experience of lesbian and gay people and assure them they are loved by God?

We in Changing Attitude expect the very highest degree of integrity, truth and Christian practice from our own supporters and those in positions of authority such as Canon Popoola. We count it as disrepectful of the Councils and decisions of the worldwide Anglican Communion that he continues to attack the reputation of one gay Nigerian Anglican rather than address the demands made in the listening process for the whole Communion.

Canon Popoola has still failed to produce ANY evidence to support the clearly fabricated allegations he made against Davis MacIyalla in the Primates' press release of 28 December 2005.

- Difficult for gay Nigerians to come out and engage with the Church when the Government Bill holds such a threat over them - or perhaps those who support Canon Popoola still think he is behaving honourably and telling the truth.

I pray for Davis and Canon Popoola every day. I am committed to the Anglican Communion, to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Christian integrity and truth, to diversity in the Church, and to the listening process.

Akintunde still stands by everything his disclaimer says? After everything Davis has revealed about himself? Wow!

Posted by: Colin Coward on Sunday, 2 April 2006 at 10:41pm BST

The Nigerian government and those who backed the development of the new legislation might have done more to promote human rights for homosexuals (including by religious castes) than anything LGBT could have done for themselves. Inadvertently, they are have raised Davis to the level of a global modern-day LGBT "Zorro".

It could easily be said that the legislation was developed specifically in response to embarassment and frustration triggered by the November 2005 conference (which could easily have been triggered by the underhanded attack on Rowan Williams). Davis played a major role in preparing that fateful conference for nearly 1000 "non-existent" Nigerians.

If Davis is not apprehended and punished, then the government and churches who egged them on will have a major public relations issue as one of their most despised targets continues his mission, even if it is in exile. In the meantime, there will come questions about the credibility of the legislation as a meaningless "paper tiger" by the homophobics within Nigeria, and as an indictment of the Nigerians failing to honor human rights by more gentle observers.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Sunday, 2 April 2006 at 11:10pm BST

"Read the Disclaimer again. Everyone is free to heed or disregard it. I still stand by everything it says."

Reverend Sir--

It is logically inconsistent for you to make insinuations about anything Mr. Maciyalla says when the necessary reconciliation between your account and that of Mr. Maciyalla makes one or the other of you liars. Mr. Maciyalla has provided a great deal of confirmatory details, including his stay in the home of the Primate and attendance at breakfast hosted by his wife (and this just the most notable). And yet I am surprised that you fixate on the details most impossible to confirm (his travel to Port Harcourt). Or perhaps it is the accusations that concern you? Well, in that case, I think we have been provided with a portrait of a diocese struggling against the local powers and principalities under the leadership of a courageous bishop. Perhaps, the accusations against Maciyalla stem from the general enmity against the late Bishop and his supporters rather than any offense of Mr. Maciyalla? Such things do happen in the rest of the world, you know. The American church is a bit heedless of her history sometimes, but the name of Onderdonk comes to mind.

To all:

I am most interested in the picture Mr. Maciyalla paints of the Nigerian church. If he does require asylum, I think some of the more liberal parishes of the Communion might profit from the example of his devotion to evangelism and the Scriptures (and as an activist for LGBT inclusion).

Posted by: Caelius Spinator on Monday, 3 April 2006 at 12:39am BST

I think Nigeria appears to be becoming a place where LGB people are simply not able to live safely. The Church has helped - actively - to create this situation.

And yet there are still people who want to be in communion with them? Why?

Posted by: Merseymike on Monday, 3 April 2006 at 11:45am BST

Mike, my answer to your question is that I met some amazing lesbian and gay Anglican Nigerians last week at the ILGA Conference. They are committed Anglicans. The only future for them is a Nigerian Church and State that becomes safe for LGBT people to live and worship openly. They want our support in working courageously towards this goal. I for one am very, very happy to give them whatever support is possible, which among other things means for me remaining in communion both with them and with those who are seeking to drive them out.

Posted by: Colin Coward on Monday, 3 April 2006 at 12:39pm BST

Mike

There are some of us who stay with the Anglican Communion because of its long history. Also, you can't always run away from your problems, especially if you have a theological paradigm that has a missionary vision to instill homophobic values across all the Christian faith (remember theological colleges do not teach to just one denomination).

For many years I used to flee from trouble and was tormented by dreams of tsunamis and storms. Then one day I had a dream that one has to face the "bow wave" of change and that the safest way to get through a storm is to face the boat head on into the waves. It is scary as all get out as you go through the storm, but once you are on the other side the waters are much calmer. Plus you develop an internal fortitude that gives you the strength to face future battles; as well as stronger faith to help you stay calm and avoid making your situation worse next time God decides to throw you in the deep end.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Monday, 3 April 2006 at 4:51pm BST

And continuing on, Mike. How much longer will there be places of refuge? When one listens to moderate Muslims talk about how violent shepherds were able to take control of the public image of Islam (at least on the US airwaves), one hears them saying that it first started with their religious educators a few hundred years ago. The phenomenom of an ultra-puritan branch becoming cancerous and taking over the whole religion is not new and we are seeing the early stages in Christianity now. We also know from the bible that God can and does intervene to stop one branch overwhelming all the others (look at the imagery of bringing or burning down the tall tree and taking the tip or grafting a new tree). Similarly, do you think God would have allowed the Muslim faith to take such a strong hold if He hadn't felt the need? Again go back to the bible and God on many occasions says that if the shepherds deny or distort God's Word or insult Spirit that He will raise up an rebuttal. Think about how the Catholics were behaving at the time Mohammad's faith took hold.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Monday, 3 April 2006 at 5:13pm BST

Canon Popoola and the Church of Nigeria should be ashamed of themselves!

Posted by: Kurt on Monday, 3 April 2006 at 8:40pm BST

SHAME? Definitely NOT. For what? Maintaining the validity of the Holy Scriptures or for issuing a warning concerning someone who will soon reveal his true picture? NO! Cannot and will not feel any shame for that.

I might however become ashamed of the disclaimer the day the Bishop of Otukpo calls and says Davis has cleared himself of all financial allegations and was all along, actually very innocent.

It is a pity; legal advice is preventing me from making Colin's requested 'evidences' available. A bit frustrating for me as the Church is not interested in prosecuting and with Davis out of the country, the likelihood of him suing for defamation becomes remote. Will I ever get to reveal them? If my prayers for him are answered, I won't have to do so.

Dear prophet Colin, please read the disclaimer( http://www.anglican-nig.org/disclaimer_iyalla.htm ) again, recognising someone is very different from "recognising him as an active member" in the years 2004 and 2005. The second paragraph shows he was very active up till mid 2003 which tallied with what your site published. Your question need not arise.

The last paragraph may answer your question concerning Lambeth 1.10. Till date, we are yet to receive in the Primate’s office a complaint from anyone that his or her pastor refused to listen or help with the problem of homosexuality. Even Davis cannot say he made ANY attempt to explain himself and was rebuffed. On the contrary, he refused to honour my invitation sent before the disclaimer was released.

Concerning the asylum issue, this time, you may have to call me a prophet.

Posted by: Tunde on Tuesday, 4 April 2006 at 9:18pm BST

Gloating over the anticipated consequences of military or political manouvres is not prophecy in the sense that they are not manifestations of Acts of God, but the consequences of seeds sown by men and done for men. Otherwise, it could be said that Hitler was a prophet as he forsaw the murdering of millions of Jews and other unworthies in Baal-like human sacrificing practices.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Tuesday, 4 April 2006 at 10:43pm BST

No. Cheryl, I am not gloating over that. I am only drawing attention to one of the points raised in the disclaimer. I find it difficult to believe Davis' Geneva trip was funded from Nigeria. He will only return to Nigeria if assured the "tap of support” will remain open.

My own sources told me the whole CA Nigeria issue was targeting a London conference late last year which he could not attend again. My taking notice of him coupled with the proposed act has only made the goal of 'greener pastures' easier to achieve I was told.

And please do give the Church some credit. According to CA's report, the bill was presented to the House with a presidential request for urgent deliberations. The majority leader with a Muslim name wanted immediate discussion because of the 'problem' but an ANGLICAN insisted on delaying by following due process. You may therefore need to reconsider your deduction for reasons behind the Act above.

Posted by: Tunde on Wednesday, 5 April 2006 at 11:52am BST

"It is a pity; legal advice is preventing me from making Colin's requested 'evidences' available." Tunde

Yes Tunde, pitiful does come to mind when fully comprehending you and your endless and factless snitty/dodging references/explanations to questions about the TRUTH and/or any actual facts/realities/proofs to the inflamatory smears YOU make against Davis Maciyalla.

Pitiful indeed is the work of the public representative/mouthpiece for Akinola and the Province of Nigeria.

Makes me wonder if encouraging discrimination and hate against LGBT Christians and the telling of lies about them is the current "leadership" policy "mission" at the Anglican Church Nigeria.

A dangerous "pity" indeed when YOU and the *other* Christians in OUR church harm your brothers and sisters in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Wednesday, 5 April 2006 at 5:46pm BST

Tunde,

Sir Davis MacIyalla is continuing to reveal a true picture of himself as he describes to me and other people his involvement with the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).It is very different from the picture you have attempted to present in your disclaimer of 28 December 2005.

Davis is a life-long Anglican, born into an Anglican family, baptised and confirmed an Anglican, a lay reader and a knight of the Church. His involvement with Bishop I Ugede in Otukpo has been well-documented by Changing Attitude, amply supported by photographic evidence. We will publish further photographs shortly.

Davis continues to be a faithful Anglican and despite your attempts to discredit him remains committed and active. He is a registered member of the two churches we identified on 16 January 2006 and continues to worship regularly and discretely in Anglican churches.

Tunde, you should by now be very ashamed of the disclaimer you published. You have published totally unsubstantiated, malicious allegations against Davis. Davis has no need to produce evidence because the allegations are false. He has repeatedly denied them.

The responsibility lies with you and the present bishop of Otukpo to produce any evidence you have which you think may support your allegations. We would like to know what legal advice prevents you from making such evidence available to the public now, when you would have to produced it in court.

The allegations are serious. They involve accusations of the theft of documents and money. Why isn’t the Church interested in prosecuting Davis for such serious crimes? If you are not going to prosecute and produce evidence, then please withdraw the allegations. Not to do so makes it appear that the allegations were made maliciously with the intention of destroying Davis’s reputation.

We also wonder that the answer might be to your prayers that you are hoping for in relation to Davis. Do you hope and pray that he will be arrested or killed and removed from your world as someone who is causing you serious problems and embarrassment? Or ar the prayers that Davis will return publicly to Otukpo to be welcomed with open arms by a forgiving and gay-friendly church?

Your third posting to this string makes yet more insinuations against Davis. He was invited by the International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA)sent a paper to the Conference about homosexuality and the Church of Nigeria. ILGA granted him a bursary and paid for his return flight.

Davis is not looking for greener pastures. You add yet another slur to his reputation. He is totally committed to his work of supporting lesbian and gay Anglicans in Nigeria and advocating on their behalf.

You are wrong and confused about the nature of due legal process. When allegations are made against a person, the evidence needs to be presented in court where a defence can also be mounted, and a judge or jury assess the innocence or guilt of the person. Your allegations are unfounded and untrue. You have produced no evidence. Davis has denied the allegations. He is innocent.

You also misunderstand the nature of the Anglican Communion’s commitment to the Listening Process.

It has nothing to do with lesbian and gay people registering a complaint in the Primate’s office that their pastor has refused to listen to them or help them. Homosexuality is not a problem per se for lesbian and gay people. Homosexuality is a problem for the Church which manifests deeply homophobic, prejudiced attitudes. As a result, the Church becomes a problem for lesbian and gay people who are subject to misunderstanding, prejudice and abuse.

Neither does the Listening Process have anything to do with whether or not Davis MacIyalla has responded to an invitation from you. He has no need to “explain” himself to you or anyone else. Davis is not answerable to you for anything. Was your invitation to Davis extended in a personal letter to him, or are you referring to an invitation made in a public media forum?

You are the Director of Communication for the Church of Nigeria. The Listening Process is a commitment made by the Councils of the Anglican Communion in the 1998 Lambeth Conference resolution 1.10, the Windsor report and the Primates’ communiqué, “to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and … to assure them that they are loved by God”. Paragraph 146 of the Windsor report reminds the Communion that “Christians of good will need to be prepared to engage honestly and frankly with each other on issues relating to human sexuality … (and) establish processes and structures to facilitate ongoing discussion.”

The commitment is to listen, not to ask lesbian and gay people to come and talk about our problems or explain ourselves, but listen to our experience and truth.

Tunde, you are revealing that the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has very little understanding of the Listening Process or of how you would appropriately listen to the experience of lesbian and gay Anglicans in Nigeria. Canon Philip Groves, appointed to facilitate the Listening Process will, we hope, be able to provide all Provinces of the Communion with examples of best practice in listening, and practical advice and support.

As an officer of your Church, I am sure you are in a position to explain how the Church of Nigeria is responding in appropriate ways to the commitment made by Archbishop Peter Akinola and the bishops gathered at the Lambeth Conference in 1998 to listen to the experience of lesbian and gay people.

Lesbian and gay Anglicans across the world will want to know in two years time at Lambeth 2008 what action the Church of Nigeria has taken to listen to her lesbian and gay members. Tunde, your Church has tens of thousands of lesbian and gay worshippers, in the congregation, choir, and as lay readers and Sunday school teachers in every parish. You imply that they have a responsibility to identify themselves to you and register complaints with church authorities when they are mistreated. They do not have any such responsibility and would be well advised to remain discrete members in the light of the recently published Bill to which the church is supporting.

Confronted by such hostile legislation and the accompanying support from the Church lesbian and gay Anglicans are right to maintain a hidden presence in the Church and in Nigerian society. The makes the ability to implement the Listening Process all the more problematic and you are actively contributing to the difficulty.

Instead of publishing yet further attempts to discredit Sir Davis MacIyalla and undermine his reputation as a committed and active member of the Church of Nigeria, you would be better advised to tell us how you are going to respond to the authoritative commitment made by your Primate to listen to lesbian and gay members of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).

Posted by: Colin Coward on Wednesday, 5 April 2006 at 7:18pm BST

Dear Tunde,

I have not directed any post to you before, so I apologize if I am coming out of the blue.

Quick question: Archbishop Akinola has endorsed the legislation, and I assume that you also support it. Were the bill enacted -- as it appears it will be -- would you and the Archbishop support someone's imprisonment should he or she spoke out in defense of homosexuality within Nigeria's borders?

This, to me, is the test. Whether Mr. Mac-Iyalla is a practicing Anglican, whether he financially defrauded his bishop and married and left his bishop's daughter, and whether he is supported by groups outside of Nigeria are immaterial considerations relative to the problem of legitimacy that would arise if the Nigerian state, with endorsement from not just the Anglican Church of Nigeria, but all religious denominations (including Islam), imprisoned people for the exercise of basic civil rights, rights enumerated in the Nigerian Constitution.

Posted by: Matt on Wednesday, 5 April 2006 at 7:48pm BST

Genocidal regimes do not come out of the blue. There are warning indicators that lead to such dynamics. There are those who are committed to preventing atrocities such as Rwanda, Auschwitz, Cambodia. We have learnt from history that certain groups are the early targets because they are seen as unwanted and therefore people will ignore the abuses against that group - these are typically the disabled, homosexuals, Jews, and small local ethnic minorities. Those of us who are committed to preventing the rise of future genocidal regimes, will work towards building the spiritual, intellectual, political and psychological models to empower others to recognise the dynamics and to find methods to intervene before genocides occur. That means that we will protect the human rights of ALL humanity, because to leave aside one group (e.g. homosexuals) gives the vicious unaccountable training grounds. At times that means we will clash with religious leaders who either can not or will not acknowledge their duplicity in suppressing human rights (which I particularly despise if they justify in the name of God). That means there will be people who hate me. So be it. However, whenever I meet a victim of a genocidal regime (whether that be a relative in this lifetime, or a victim when I pass over) I will be able to look them in the eye with a clear conscience that I had done everything I could to prevent their and future atrocities; including denouncing immoral or ignorant priestly castes.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Wednesday, 5 April 2006 at 9:59pm BST

Matt. Please wait for that time. For now, we still see homosexuality as an aberration and therefore will not encourage it in any way. Preaching or speaking against the punishment of such behaviour can give a wrong indication of accepting, or even encouraging the unacceptable. Lambeth 1.10 says “listen to experience” not “encourage the behaviour” Like many priests, I have listened to the experience of many people including the depressed, prostitutes, thieves, physically challenged, drunks, unloved etc. I hardly (maybe due to my schedule) had to go out looking for them. They come to the Church for help and are helped.

Colin, it seems I only get to annoy you with every post of mine. That is not my intention. How can I impress on you that I love Davis and pray for him and not against him. I am again being drawn into spending a lot of time to respond to your post.

The Church as a loving parent should not prosecute the prodigal but pray and await his return home. The only other thing it can do is make sure he does not misrepresent the family further. That is all what the disclaimer is about.

Your posts continue to present his picture more vividly and I’d be surprised if people are not wondering how great the primary school teacher is. He is also the Homiletics lecturer of church ministers, the layreader trained in a diocese but licensed by another, the man who is a close confidant of half of the bishops of Nigeria yet worships (discreetly now) in different parishes hundreds of miles apart, the unmarried knight and leader of the men’s association. He is the great evangelist that brought a cathedral back to life but has refused to go back there himself since 2003. He is also the gay activist representing the Church in meetings worldwide and himself organises Anglican meetings for ‘over 1000’ but shows pictures of a Muslim named master of ceremony and a beer joint that cannot hold 200. I did not reveal all these. You did.

As you wrote, evidences must be produced IN COURT. I am not looking forward to that but I am prepared for it. Making such evidences public before then, I am told is not acceptable.

Sad, we have to communicate in the public like this but with the level of misunderstanding, I have no better option. You can confirm I started by mailing you directly. Concerning the invitation, I mailed Davis at least a week before the release of the disclaimer. When I spoke with him on phone earlier this year he denied receiving the mail. I usually blind-copy such mails to one or two ‘witnesses’ and one of them wrote to ask if I had received a response a day before the disclaimer was released. You confirmed Davis’ denial on a TA post. (do not have the time now to search) I resent it to him and copied you along about five discrete others. Till date, it is yet to be acknowledged by the two of you.

I have called Davis twice. Once disguised as a gay seeking information on the Nigerian meeting ( told it was put off because of National festival) and secondly after you posted he was troubled because of the proposed law. I had a very nice chat with him for over 20 mins and explained the disclaimer was due to his problem in Otukpo and his seeming reluctance to respond to the financial allegation. I impressed on him the need to solve the financial problem before the same-sex act is passed so he can be free to relate with the church on his campaign. He took time to explain the problem in the diocese and I told him some of the documents in my procession implicating him. None referred to his homosexuality. HE WAS NOT KNOWN AS A GAY IN OTUKPO. He promised going to see his bishop to clear things up. You later posted that you discouraged him. I would have called or mailed him again but have so far refrained on legal advice so as not to give any impression of harassment.

Finally, my prayers for Davis is for his repentance as I am convinced he needs to do so in many areas of his life. I pray he truly joins most Anglicans including myself pray the general confession and mean it as I am sure God forgives. I pray he shames the devil by confessing his sins and living afresh as a testimony that God can rescue and transform by answering this much loved prayer:

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love You,
and worthily magnify Your Holy Name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Posted by: Tunde on Thursday, 6 April 2006 at 4:15pm BST

Dear Tunde,

Thank you for your reply.

No one can afford to "wait for that time", since by then it would be too late for anyone in Nigeria to legally complain about the bill.

I support an individual's right to oppose gay marriage, and I will take no public stance on whether gay marriage is a "human right." So let's leave that aside for now.

What is at issue is the other content of the legislation, which would violate a set of civil rights outlined in the Nigerian Constitution (Sections 135 and 137). The Living Church quotes you on Feb 27 as saying: "Archbishop Peter to my knowledge is yet to comment [publicly] on the bill. I have said we welcome it because we view homosexuality as 'against the norm'." Archbishop Akinola himself unambiguously endorsed the legislation in his Feb 25 Letter to the Nation.

Links:
http://www.livingchurch.org/publishertlc/viewarticle.asp?ID=1717
http://www.nigeria-law.org/ConstitutionOfTheFederalRepublicOfNigeria.htm
http://www.anglican-nig.org/communique_ibadan2006.htm

So I have to ask you again, before it is too late: were the bill enacted, would you and the Archbishop support someone's imprisonment should he or she speak out in defense of homosexuality within Nigeria's borders?

It's simple. If you think "yes", then say "yes". If you think "no", then withdraw your endorsement.

Posted by: Matt on Thursday, 6 April 2006 at 6:39pm BST

Something about the consequences of this proposed legislations:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4880592.stm

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 7 April 2006 at 1:05pm BST

Canon Popoola, you are making a category error. Lesbian and gay people come into the same category as heterosexuals. This is our human identity.

Five of the six on your list fall into different categories. Becoming a prostitute or a thief is something a person chooses to do or is forced into. Depression, alcoholism and being unloved have complex origins but are sad or even tragic conditions from which people may be able to rise from or escape. To be a thief is to do engage in an activity which is sinful and against the law. Tunde, you might think that homosexuals also fit into this category. In Nigeria they may do, but they don’t in the UK.

Only those who are physically challenged are in the same category as lesbian and gay people. This describes something about the essence of their human nature.

Your remark about Lambeth 1.10 not encouraging behaviour therefore can’t apply to someone who is depressed, alcoholic, unloved or physically challenged. That leaves being a thief and being homosexual, and we would agree about not encouraging a thief. You can’t encourage someone to be homosexual. It is the way we are born. You might avoid encouraging certain forms of behaviour, like falling in love, if you that that certain forms of homosexual expression are morally wrong, and you and I would disagree on this point. That is why you might choose not to encourage homosexual behaviour, but it would be impossible for you to encourage someone to be homosexual. Either a person is or isn’t.

Posted by: Colin Coward on Friday, 7 April 2006 at 2:09pm BST



Dear Canon Tunde, peace and love.

First you said I did not exist but it is good as now the world knows that Davis is real.

You also claimed i broke up an engagement with the bishop daughter. Well you have still not named her as Ugede has 4 boys and 5 girls and only one is married. In one of your emails to Colin you claimed to have met Mrs Ugede. Is she the person who told you I was engage to her child?

I still stand on my point that I have no reason to visit Otukpo now except under the supervision of a third party. You have not made it public that Mrs Ugede herself is no longer living in Otukpo with members of her family.

In your disclaimer you said I was trying to defraud unsuspecting foreigners and till date you have not given any proof. Please consult the editor of the Good Knight magazine to give you all the publications about Otukpo from the first time I wrote to him about making knights in the diocese until the time I was sacked in 2003. You will find articles reporting that peace was restored in Otukpo diocese after the death of Ugede and that all the people who had been worshipping in a hotel returned. It is you who is not giving a true picture about the church of Nigeria and all that the brave bishop Ugede passed true in Otukpo

Your phone call to me was just to ask me to stop CAN or I will face more embarrassment which is just what you are doing. I never promised you that I was going to explain myself about any of the allegations to the bishop of Otukpo because I have never defrauded the diocese or any one else. I said you should make your claim public as I am talking with my family lawyer, but you have never done this to the present date claiming legal reasons.

I will never stop giving a true picture of myself and telling the truth about my work in Otukpo and as a gay Nigerian Anglican even if it offends you. Independent people are investigating the truth of my testimony.

Canon Tunde, there is no sin in being gay and i have nothing to repent of but if you can, it is you who need repentance as you have not seen anything good about just one Nigerian Christian who has come out to say i am a gay and Christian. I know how offended you are about my coming out and telling the truth about myself and the church.

The present bishop of Otukpo was ordained in St Cyprian Anglican church in Port Harcourt and people came from Otukpo as you know very well. Why is it that no-one lay a complaint about me until I came out from my closet? I have never travelled out of Nigeria before now and no publication was ever made about me if I really had stolen any diocesan money.

Your disclaimer was designed just to put me off and rubbish my image but the pity is it has not done much and thinking people work on facts. Have you confirmed with all the people I have been mentioning in my statement if I was lying?

Just for posting the picture of myself and that of the President of the Council of Knights in Otukpo you told me he was so offended and wants to go to court. That is Otukpo where you are painting picture as if all will be well with me if I go there. The bill to ban same-sex relationships is not passed yet but people are implementing it already, but you have not told the world that. Girls were raped in Port Harcourt because some boys suspected them to be lesbians. Fifteen boys were dismissed from school because they where suspected of being gay. A serving minister was killed and till date no one has taking responsibility. I was locked up in Wuse police station for three days with out food and water. If it were to happen today I am not sure of coming out of there alive. The bill is taking due process to become law and you have still not answered the many questions put to you about what you will do if the bill is passed.

I have lots of friends who are watching and following up the news, dear canon, and if it was not for my coming out as being gay you may not have come this far. No-one in Nigeria will openly support a gay man and you know it. You are using this to try and have your way in most of the issues you are publishing about me.

I have always disproved your allegations and disclaimers as false and will continue to do that as long as I live.

I have just came back from Geneva to host our leadership meeting which will be hosted by our convenor in Jos diocese.
Sir Davis Mac-Iyalla

Posted by: Davis on Friday, 7 April 2006 at 3:35pm BST

Another REVELATION: (or well just a confirmation of the fact that Davis was not known to be a Gay in Otukpo. ) “The present bishop of Otukpo was ordained in St Cyprian Anglican church in Port Harcourt and people came from Otukpo as you know very well. Why is it that no-one lay a complaint about me until I came out from my closet?”

Did someone forget his entry sympathy was based on his statements that he was sacked because of his homosexuality?

Posted by: Tunde on Friday, 7 April 2006 at 8:01pm BST

Colin, Thanks for your post. We are finally back to the basics. Our understanding of homosexuality. We differ on that, and I am just like you in not willing to budge.

Davis, Glad to engage you in public view without fear of being misunderstood.

No! I did not tell you to stop CAN. My Archbishop is the President of CAN. Neither did I ask you to stop your organisation as I am yet to be convinced it really exists exists beyond the pictures of you entertaining the Muslim and non-Anglican figures behind two earlier established Nigerian homosexual groups.( I pray you eventually lead them to our Church where they may encounter Christ.) What I asked you to stop was your fraudulent activities. Did you have a meeting in Abuja for 1000 Anglicans? Did you seek support for feeding and accommodation for them? Where were they lodged or fed? Did you account for the funds? While in Otukpo, did you divert school fees into your personal bank account? Did you make away with salaries due to some staff? Did you collect cash for various projects that were never executed?

Glad your post again confirmed some of my statements.

I wrote that you did not exist as a true person because the reference you gave was that of a serving knight of Otukpo diocese. Enquires at the bishop’s office were met with denial of any knight or layreader by your names. The Bishop and his staff never heard of you. They had a record of the knights of the diocese and your name was not there. Attempts to contact you on phone then were futile. I only accepted your existence when the bishop said one of the older priests told him of a so named ‘son’ of Bp. Ugede who ……. (you know the story) . I notified Colin immediately and that would be my mistake because that is why he still thinks I just want to discredit you. His organisation was about supporting a meeting for 1000 people including boarding and feeding in Abuja, one of Nigeria’s more expensive cities. I felt a responsibility to warn him of who he is dealing with. What I did not understand then was the desperation for a foothold in Nigeria.

I am just learning of your decision about needing a third party in order to visit people you had evangelised and brought back to worship. People who entrusted their children unto your care, people that were obviously on your side in whatever conflict there was, as they took photographs with you and got positions like ‘President of the Council of Knights’ while you called the shots. What had prevented you from getting the third party all along? Get an international journalist with a camera crew if you want. My concern is that you clear up the financial allegations. That is the main basis of my viewing you as a fraudster.

I do not know all the problems the late bishop had in Otukpo. I should have some time after Easter to go there and interview the names you gave especially ‘those posted to the rural areas or retired’.

Concerning your purported arrest, your statement said an object resembling a gun was found in your vehicle around 3.00am! The police radioed they apprehended suspected criminals! Yes that happens in Nigeria. The ‘Apo Six’ were youths shot dead around the same time only to be declared innocent this year with the officers involved now facing the music. One of our priests was shot dead at a police checkpoint last year. The Church continues to speak against police brutality and injustice. People sue for unlawful arrest and brutality in Nigeria. Civil Rights organisations have many such cases they are handling. What about yours? Have you challenged it? Or is your statement targeted towards asylum? That seems to be what I can deduce from that paragraph of your post.

Please continue to disprove my allegations with fresh stories that reveal who you are. I will continue to pray for you. Do have a wonderful meeting in Jos which is about a 2hr drive from Otupko. Take some time to clear yourself.

May be busy during the Passion week but will check back on you here from time to time.

Posted by: Tunde on Friday, 7 April 2006 at 9:09pm BST

No dear Tunde, we are not misunderstanding you. Sadly enough.

I hear scorn and denigration.

"I only accepted your existence..."

"I impress on you..."

No, you don't. I am not "impressed". Do come down from your high horses!

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Saturday, 8 April 2006 at 8:22am BST

Tunde ; frankly, I couldn't care less about your personal spat with any other individual.

I do care about your homophobia and the evil which your Church does towards my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in Nigeria.

You sum up everything which is wrong with the church and why we should want nothing to do with your province.

Posted by: Merseymike on Saturday, 8 April 2006 at 7:05pm BST

You are wrong when you say my entry was to gain sympathy for myself, this is just one of your many tactics. I was sacked, yes, because of my homosexuality, but I have never used it to seek for sympathy anywhere. I only
answer to the Windsor report and the listening process after my contact with Colin.

Sorry if my statement sound offensive. Canon Tunde are you telling the world you have no idea about the crisis in the diocese of Otukpo and how Archbishop Akinola himself came to settle the problem without result?

If Asylum will help me to be safe and go on with my work, Canon Tunde I will seek for it when the time comes.

Changing Attitude Nigeria (CAN) is the work we have started that you are doing all in your position to make me stop which I will not. The more the attacks the more I have the urge to go on as I am sure and confident of myself.

Yes, 1000 gay and lesbian Anglican attended the General Meeting in Abuja that is causing you so much pain and bitterness.

If it was only for the reason of seeking support the meeting would not have been held. It was CA England's decision to give support. But we where on our own planning and organising the meeting not in the hope of anyone giving us money.

Yes Canon Tunde, all those who were not working were lodged and fed and some were assisted with their travel costs to return home.

Accounts will always be giving to my supporters at any time and I am sure they are very convinced and trust me. That is the reason they have not abandoned me to your disappointment.

In Otukpo, no funds were diverted to my personal account. I was well trusted by the bishop and he at regular times gave me money for safe keeping.

I met an empty house when I took over as principal of the school and paid all the arrears owed to teachers. If you will are able please give the names of the teachers you claim I left taking with me their salaries.

I never collected any money for the project without executing it. My assistant principal is still working there. Confirm from her when the Bishop of Jaligo was sent by the Archbishop of Jos province to interview the staff and to seek of ways to restore peace. That was just before the Bishop of Lafia was appointed to supervise Otukpo. He meet with all the staff and asked questions. No-one ever said I was owning them any money - ask him - he can confirm it.

I have no regret in serving Bishop Ugede and facing the humiliations that I am getting after his death. If the people of Otukpo will be kind to tell you the truth ask them why I took one of the women gang leaders that was causing
trouble in the cathedral to an upper area court in Otukpo and what was the charge.

Bishop Ugede who was a father to me and my boss in Otukpo is dead and his family moved out of Otukpo, so I will not walk in your trap by going to Otukpo right now.

All that you are working towards is denying that there are gay and lesbians members in the church. But you know that is not true. We are here and we will never be distracted by your false attack on me or the group.

How much was the total of the money you claim I defrauded from the diocese? It is better you make that public too so we can start a public audit from members of staff and the income of the school.

I was with Bishop Ugede in St John's Anglican church in Rumeme, 4 miles from Port Harcourt to seek for support and funding for the diocese of Otukpo. You can ask the vicar to give you copies of bishop Ugede's testimonies there which are on video. I have a copy and I intend to keep mine and use it at the right time.

Thanks to cell phones and the internet, thinking people can always call me and other people to verify my true story. I am happy that people who know me are speaking on my behalf.

Posted by: Davis on Sunday, 9 April 2006 at 12:22pm BST

Thank you Davis for posting here.

It is quite clear to anyone reading any of this that the Church in Nigeria simply refuses to admit that there are any lesbian/gay/bisexual Nigerian Anglicans.

Confronted with this truth and with their clear desire to be in church, clerics like Tunde and his boss Akinola respond with lies, threats, obfuscation, comparisons of lesbigays with criminals, and proposed laws to discriminate.

Nothing Tunde has stated to try to slander you is in anyway credible. The more he speaks on this the larger and more ridiculous his lies become. The only ones he convinces with any of his words are the ones who already believe that gays, bisexuals and lesbians should not and must not exist.

Then to top it all off they claim to have God on their side.

Question: Why cannot the Church in Nigeria or anyone else tell us where the Lord Jesus Christ said to do these things to our lesbigay brothers and sisters?

Answer: Because he never said to do this.

In fact he ordered us to to treat others as we would be treated, because His entire law was given and all His prophets were sent, to drill this one law into our hearts.

It is only for the sake of people like Davis that I would wish to remain in Communion with Nigeria. They need our continued prayers and dialogue.

But certainly not because of Tunde or his boss.

Tunde makes thing up, lies easily and apparently views his communications portfolio as a directive to distort; while many of Akinola's acts are a disgrace to Christendom and in my opinion border on criminal.

Posted by: RMF on Monday, 10 April 2006 at 5:36am BST

Dear Davis,

How was Palm Sunday?

"...he at regular times gave me money for safe keeping."

Thanks for confirming you handled cash in addition to all your other functions in the school and church. Assumed the cashier for the school and wardens in the church were supposed to do that.

Like most of your friends, you are focusing on your activities with the late bishop. Much of those, I believe. The disclaimer was careful enough to explain the reason behind his trust in you. It was also concerned about your inactivity in 2004 and 2005. Neither the late Diocesan nor his travails are up for public scrutiny. Please avoid throwing his name around.

Davis, what really concerns me is what you did immediately AFTER the death of the late bishop till you absconded from Otukpo. Documents with me implicating you include those signed your former assistant Mrs Rahaman whom you asked me to contact above. Do you want me to ask her to issue a public statement? (If I'd be allowed here, and your friends will find it easier to believe a lay woman)

The Bishop of Lafia confirms your refusal to attend meetings of the reconciliation committee and also your clandestine visit to him during which he told you to present your facts and explain accounts to the committee but you bolted away. WHY? Out of respect for the late bishop, and because of your perceived relation to the family, nobody bothered you. No report was even handed over to the incoming bishop and all these might have remained buried had you not continued in your pranks which led me to unearth your departure from Otukpo.

No! Brother, I am not out to attack you or your character. It is on record that I refrained from commenting for almost 3 months but that was taken by your friends to imply my being unsure of what I was warning them of. Tell them how you were able to crowd 1000 people in that enclosed drinking spot in Area10. A smarter guy would have used the Council entrance where one can assume the car park was used. (Forget about adopting this. I was there and interacted with different troupes in town for the National Festival who camped there.) The NY Times reporter cannot vouch she saw a gathering of 100.

The only pain I have is about your untruthfulness. I longed to meet you there, listen to you and understand you. (Did not know of your Otukpo deals then) I planned taking photographs with you. Had I known your 'prayers' were going to be said over a couple of bottles, I would have scanned every bar in the vicinity. I must repeat that you have made ABSOLUTELY NO ATTEMPT to talk to the Church of Nigeria, so what ‘work’ is it that you are doing for CA? Lambeth or Windsor?

About traps, the Bishop of Otukpo wants you to either return the money or explain where he may get it. You can phone him using call centres that are almost impossible to trace in Nigeria. You can ask him to send his staff to places of your choice. You can get international journalists to cover any foul play. No one is interested in you behind bars. Your nose is running dear, Just clean it up. Personally I do not care if you go to exile or not. My concern is that you do not involve the name of the Church in fraudulent activities.

Got to go. Will check your response after Easter.

Posted by: Tunde on Monday, 10 April 2006 at 5:09pm BST

GKS, Sorry, I was off the horses for past 3 months. Some would not let me be and went to town to proclaim my having nothing to say

MM, RMF, In my place there is a saying ‘Otito koro’ which literally translates to ‘the truth is bitter’

Posted by: Tunde on Monday, 10 April 2006 at 5:12pm BST

Tunde,

In the U.S. we have many favorite sayings too, one of the ones we hear most often is, "practice what you preach."

I will simply reiterate what Father Colin stated in another entry above:

"I want to know how the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) is responding to every section of Lambeth 1.10 and the Windsor Report."

Posted by: RMF on Tuesday, 11 April 2006 at 3:36pm BST

Canon Popoola,
My only knowledge of Davis MacIyalla is what I have read. I must look at the reliability of the information. You are currently in support of legislation which, if passed, will result in severe persecution of gay people in your country. Whatever your position on gay people, fostering the persecution of anyone is simply not Christian. That you can do this means that you do not support basic Christian values, no matter what Scripture you quote. You should react to such laws with the same revulsion you feel for homosexuals. You are repulsed because you believe homosexuality to be sinful. Why are you not equally repulsed by this manifestly sinful legislation? Why are you not opposing it with the same vigor with which you oppose homosexuality? "Not everyone who calleth unto Me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven." Do you believe oppressing others is the will of the Father? What weight should I then place on your testimony?

Further, can you sense the shock and horror many feel that a Church would support such laws? Do you realize that your Church's support for such laws, in direct opposition to the Christian Gospel, brings disrepute on that Gospel, just as surely as any disrepute you may feel is brought by Westerners' acceptance of gay people? You are implying that the Saviour of the World permits us to persecute others. This is not the Gospel. One can oppose without persecuting. You accuse others of ignoring Lambeth 1998, yet how can your actions be said to:

"minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals" (ResolutionI.10(d))?

Preaching that they remain celibate or even that they can be changed is one thing, and you may argue such things would fit under the above quoted statement, but surely you are not saying that advocating the imprisonment of gay people and their supporters constitutes condemning irrational fear of homosexuals?

Frankly, Sir, gay people have heard these things time and again, usually just before the sole of the boot comes down on our faces. "Hate the sin, love the sinner" always, in my experience, means "hate the sin, hate the sinner even more". I have never known it to be otherwise. I read what you write, I read about the legislation, and I believe you to be someone who, given the right amount of emotional preaching, could easily beat me to death and think you did God service, even take pleasure in the sounds of my dying. If you are not this kind of person, think about what in your actions makes it appear you are.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 17 April 2006 at 6:11pm BST
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